Holiday gifts: For the foodie

Still trying to figure out how to tackle your giftlist? Top tech writer Phillip de Wet and fashionista Bianca Resnekov have recommendations.

Conrad’s concoctions
Cape Town-based Conrad Gallagher is a world-renowned Michelin-star chef with vast experience in the culinary world. He has cooked for Bill Clinton at the White House, Madonna, Bono and now he’s cooking for you. He’s offering live cooking lessons at his restaurant, Geisha, in Cape Town, for both qualified cooks and food enthusiasts alike.
Classes are kept intimate and the food is mostly new-age Asian Fusion. Conrad is a charismatic Irishman who is not to be messed with in the kitchen, or anywhere else for that matter, so expect the experience to be fun and eventful. Lessons take place on the last Saturday of every month. — R395 a student for a 25-minute lesson, including lunch and a complimentary apron

Gone to pot
Foodies love getting good pots. But why copper? Of all the metals used for cooking copper is the most even and the quickest conductor. @home has a fantastic range of copper-based pots, skillets, frying pans, saucepans and casseroles in various sizes and prices. The beauty of these pots is that they are both stainless steel and copper-based, which means that they are dishwasher-safe as opposed to the old-fashioned copper cookers. The largest casserole is the “real deal” – with a depth of 24cm it is perfect for Christmas roasts. We also fancy the 28cm-deep frying pan, which comes with a glass lid for keeping an eye on Christmas breakfast proceedings. — Casserole: R570. Frying pan: R680. Available from @home stores nationwide

Get spicy
This lemony spice from Turkey is all the rage at the moment — rub sumac on chicken, fish or veggies before baking or braaiing and you are set to get tongues wagging. Impress your friends by giving them a pack of powdered or fresh sumac, available at your favourite farmer’s market or spice shops and delis. Its tart flavour works as a great substitute for lemon and it is delicious on salads, rice or even on raw onions. In addition to its delightful taste the flakes from the berry are a lovely deep-red colour, which make for a perfect Christmas garnish. — R20 for 125ml at select spice shops and delis

Amit Raz: Chef and owner of Indian Nouveau restaurant Masala Dosa in Cape Town

What was your best Christmas?
The best are spent on the beach — it’s a time to shed the skin of the past and put on your most festive swimming costume.

What will you do this year?
I will be working to make it a special day for everyone else. I was raised in Israel, my restaurant is Indian and my clients are atheists, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jewish and more, but we will be making a special Christmas masala vindaloo, which is an Indian-Christian dish from Goa.

What was the best Christmas gift you got?
A Christmas tree, my first, and my staff cooked me a wonderful African meal and gave me beautiful homemade cards.

What do you want this year?
Peace in the Middle East, an around-the-world air ticket and a pug. — BR

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Phillip De Wet
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